True confessions: I played trombone in high school. My dad was a band director, and my sisters and I all played instruments. They chose flute and clarinet, so of course I had to choose the most obnoxious thing I could think of. (I chose drums and was told “absolutely not”…so I married a drummer instead.) So, as the resident trombonist here at ALB, I feel qualified to comment on this book.
Wilton Playboy Bunny Cake Pan
Submitter: A lot of libraries allow you to take out cake pans for all those people who want to try out a fun new idea for their birthday cakes. Most pans are fine, what kid wouldn’t want a fire truck or a dog shaped cake at their party? But I can see this pan sitting lonely on the shelf, while the library’s hundred other cake pans are circulated through. Why? Because it’s the Playboy Bunny Cake Pan. Yes, a cake pan in the shape of the Playboy bunny, that “celebrated symbol most men know and love! It’s bound to liven up birthdays, bachelor parties, Father’s Day and more.” If it wasn’t enough to just get the pan, there’s also a pdf that shares the decoration instructions and the back of the label with its 2 fun decorating ideas; one of which is Christmas themed. Since nothing says Merry Christmas like the Playboy Bunny wearing a cheery Christmas bow tie. Looking at the pictures, it’s clear that only people with lots of time on their hands will follow the instructions. I can’t see anyone checking this pan out anytime soon.
Holly: This is funny! It isn’t just any bunny cake; the Playboy Bunny has a very distinctive shape. It is recognizable by most adults. I’d totally check this out (but, then, I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy).
Sculpture in Paper
Submitter: Here is one submission, based on condition and age. I missed it in my first weeding of the section because I didn’t open the book. It’s a cool idea for a book, but I believe that a new edition would circulate.
Holly: It has definitely seen better days, as you can see from the water damage in the first image below. This one could definitely be replaced if it has circulated well! On the other hand, often patrons will immediately let staff know about damage like this so that they don’t get blamed for it, so maybe no one has looked at it for a while. On the other other hand, I have found items on the shelf with peanut butter on the cover and pages held together with duct tape and prayer, so it could have been checked out several times like this and no one bothered to do anything about it!
The Babysitter’s Handbook
Submitter: I didn’t realize how old this book is until I pulled it off the shelf and flipped through it. This kind of material needs to be updated due to new technology, such as doorbells and wearable medical devices, and things like basic first aid/CPR.
Holly: For sure! Not to mention its spiral binding. Anything spiral bound and 25 years old should be in much worse condition than this, which means it probably didn’t get much use.
The Autism Ambassadors Handbook
Submitter: This terribly ableist book is in the library of the university I graduated from. When I discovered it as an autistic student, I was livid. The author, an 18-year-old boy who is being treated as an expert despite his lack of qualifications, describes autistic people in the most alienating way possible (he actually says we sound as if we just stepped off a spaceship). He doesn’t consider that if a child screams or covers her ears, maybe she is hurt or scared by a loud noise. To him, this behavior is just evidence that she is socially oblivious. The author clearly hasn’t talked to many autistic adults. If he had, he’d know that we do NOT want to be “indistinguishable from our peers”, that stimming has an important purpose, and that autistic people want real friends, not assigned “friends” for whom we are a special school project.
My First Book of
Submitter: The daycare I work at actually has a library! And the last time this collection was weeded was… never. So there were a lot of cases of books hanging on by a hope and a prayer but there were also books like this one. Good books teaching sign language can be hard to come by and this one is ok. Its pictures aren’t bad, the signs are ok for young kids but it was published in 1996. For hearing young children, it’s not that big of a deal that it’s out of date, but with modern technology being as it is and the fact that this isn’t a book you can really read to a kid, it went in the get rid of pile.
Holly: Maybe you would read it with the sibling of a hearing impaired child, to teach them sign language? I like the format with the pictures, and the words seem relevant to a child’s home and family life. It makes me wonder if more modern sign language books for kids do have technology words, like “C is for cell phone” and “I is for Internet”? Lol!
A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow
Submitter: I found this 1959 puberty manual when cleaning out an old closet at a public library in North Carolina I worked at a couple summers ago. It had long been weeded–I brought it home to read aloud to my 12-year-old, who was sufficiently horrified!
Holly: What were they saving it in the closet for?? It warms my heart to know it got a second life through your tween.
Submitter: I tend to browse the non-fiction of my local library and always seem to find something interesting. I did the self-checkout but I’m pretty sure when I return it and they are checking it back into the system they will be curious to know who the patron was. I guess that’s one of the perks of the job? I agree it probably has its place in a public library, I just didn’t expect my small town library to have this in their collection. I actually flipped through it […] and there are specific chapters for men and women. The [last] picture was submitted because of the dog-eared page. I’m guessing someone wanted to circle back to that section?
Holly: The only real issue I have with this book is its age. It’s 20 years old. It’s dog-eared, as submitter says, and while some (even most) of the information *may* be accurate twenty years later, anything remotely health-related should at least be looked at regularly after about five years. For example, there’s a section in the second image below about Yohimbe. A quick search of the googles tells me that “Yohimbe products containing man-made yohimbine hydrochloride as an ingredient are not legal to sell as a dietary supplement in the US.” I didn’t double-check the Physician’s Desk Reference as the page below indicates…but patrons won’t either.